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  • Writer's pictureKyle Holt

Bernies Plan For Busting Open Bud Business

There are a hundred different reasons why you should be interested in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election in November. One of these reasons is the legal status of cannabis; especially given Trump’s aggressive posturing toward the states that have made progress on medical marijuana.

While many politicians continue their failed War on Drugs, many presidential contenders view things differently. Every single individual running for the Democratic nomination has a plan to decriminalize or legalize marijuana federally, with the notable exception of Joe Biden. Among the front-running candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders appears to have the makings of the most dynamic plan—to legalize cannabis on his first day in office.

Bernie’s Plan: Legal on Day One

To launch cannabis toward legality on day one, Bernie would invoke the now-familiar Executive Action. Obama and Trump also used the measure on their first day’s in office, the former “closing Guantanamo Bay” and the latter gutting the former’s healthcare initiatives.

Thankfully, President Sanders would be using Executive Action to implement a plan he’s been crafting for at least half a decade. He presented the first stand-alone legalization bill to the Senate in 2015. This is not some half-baked scheme that is unlikely to succeed. While he can avoid the (currently) Republican Congress by invoking Executive Action, there are still some steps between a signature and actual implementation.

Really, all Bernie can do on the first day is to provide and sign a mandate, either to his Attorney General or Secretary of Health and Human Services. This is why Bernie’s plan will only be starting its long journey on inauguration day, even by ‘forcing it through.’ The second step of his plan requires nomination and confirmation of these two individuals, though a condition of their nomination is likely to be that they’re cannabis-friendly.

Bernie’s Cannabis Plan

Bernie has crafted a very detailed 4-point plan that will create a healthy and sustainable future for cannabis in America. His focus is not on recreation, or even medical applications, but to right the wrongs caused by the devastating War on Drugs. With more than 60% of Americans supporting the recreational use of cannabis, it’s legislation that is a long time coming.

“When we’re in the White House, we’re going to end the greed and corruption of the big corporations and make sure that Americans hit hardest by the war on drugs will be the first to benefit from legalization,” he’s said.

From Bernie’s website, his plan includes:

● Removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act

● Begin funding the process of expunging past marijuana convictions

● Build systems that reinvest cannabis taxes into communities hardest hit by the War on Drugs

● Pass legislation that ensures permanent legalization of marijuana

Needless to say, this plan is arguably the most thought-out legislative approach to cannabis legalization. There are stipulations in place that prevent large corporations from monopolizing the market (think tobacco and alcohol), and tax revenues are directed to fixing the harms caused by decades of prohibition.

If Bernie wins the election, his plan is likely to succeed in its initial phases. Adoption by the States is an entirely different matter. Most Americans favor marijuana legalization but will they favor the rest of Bernie's policies?

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